SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Agricultural Statistics Service has released the crop production forecasts for September. The latest survey, conducted during the first week of September 2002, includes the following commodities:
Corn - The corn acreage harvested for grain remains unchanged from August at 140,000 acres. The yield per acre also is unchanged at 175 bushels. Compared to the 2001 crop year, the acreage is 12% lower, while the yield is 3% higher. The resulting production is 24.5 million bushels, 10% less than in 2001.
Cotton - Upland cotton production in California is forecast at 1.35 million bales, down 24% from 2001, but up 4% from the August 1 forecast. Harvested acreage is estimated to be 477,000 acres, resulting in a yield of 1,358 pounds per acre. The forecast for American Pima cotton production is 560,000 bales, down 12% from the 2001 crop and down 10% from the August 1 estimate. Harvested acreage is estimated at 209,000, resulting in a yield of 1,286 pounds per acre. Good plant growth and boll retention have been reported. Insect pressure has been light, with small numbers of whiteflies and aphids reported recently, which is normal for this time of year.
Oranges, Navel - The initial 200203 California Navel orange forecast is 80.0 million (37.5-pound) cartons, up 18% from last season's crop. Of this total, 77.5 million cartons are estimated to be produced in the Central Valley. Bearing acreage is estimated at 127,500, resulting in a yield of 627 cartons per acre. The forecast is based on the Navel Orange Objective Measurement Survey conducted in the Central Valley. Survey data indicated an average set of 466 oranges per tree, with a September 1 diameter of 2.2 inches. Some instances of scarring have occurred due to wind damage, but overall the crop is developing well, with heavy production reported.
Pistachios - The 2002 California pistachio production forecast is 280 million pounds, up 74% from last year. Bearing acreage is estimated to be 83,000, 6% greater than in 2001. The resulting yield of 3,370 pounds per acre is 64% more than last year’s 2,060 pounds per acre. The forecast is based on the Pistachio Objective Measurement Survey conducted during August. Pistachios are an alternate bearing crop, with this year representing a high production year. Favorable weather conditions throughout the season contributed to good crop development, resulting in an abundant crop.
Rice - All rice production in California for 2002 is forecast at 42.2 million cwt., up 10% from last year. The yield forecast is 8,100 pounds per acre. Planted and harvested acreages are estimated at 523,000 and 521,000 acres, respectively. California's weather conditions during the growing season have been favorable. The crop is reported to be in good condition with minimal weed problems. Rice harvest had just begun in the State on September 1.
Sugar Beets - The 2002 California sugar beet production forecast is 1.86 million tons, up 3% from the August forecast and 15% above last season. Harvested acreage remains unchanged from last month with 48,000 acres, resulting in a yield of 38.8 tons per acre. Harvest continued in some locations with very good yields reported.
Walnuts - The 2002 California walnut production forecast is 275,000 tons, down 10% from the 2001 crop of 305,000 tons. Bearing acreage is estimated to be 200,000. The forecast is based on the Walnut Objective Measurement Survey conducted during August. The survey indicated a state-average nut set of 1,572, down 9% from 2001. The San Joaquin Valley set is 1,142, down 23% from last year; the coastal area set is 1,254, up 34% from 2001; the Sacramento Valley set is 1,982, down 2% from last year. The percentage of sound kernels in-shell was 96.3% statewide.
California’s Agricultural Statistics Service operates under a cooperative agreement between CDFA and the United States Department of Agriculture. Production forecasts are released on a monthly basis and do not reflect final production estimates. Late summer and fall harvests may change these estimates considerably. The next production forecast will be issued October 11, 2002.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814